Gallery spotlight: Dehn & Cyril

As a component of the exhibition, A Chicken in Every Pot and Affordable Art in Every Home, group curated by Dr. Slipp’s Spring 2021 Museum Studies class, student were assigned two prints each. They researched the artworks and wrote catalogue entries and labels for adults and children. Sticking to a tight word count, students produced different kinds of writing for different audiences.

The texts below were authored by AUM student Emily Pritchett

Adolf Dehn (American, 1895-1968)

Caribbean Processional, 1954

Lithograph, 9.75 x 13.75 inches

Label for Adults – This lithograph in grayscale displays a group of women and girls en route back to their village carrying water jugs and baskets of food atop their heads. Such processions of gathering water from a well and communal cooking still occur in the Caribbean. From the top of the cliff, the beauty of the landscape is on full display: clouds are blocking the sun, the ocean is calm, and other islands emerge from the water.

Label for Kids – This lithograph shows a group of women and girls coming back to their village carrying full water jugs and food baskets on top of their heads. The skies, ocean, and islands are also seen from the top of the hill.

Catalogue entry  Adolf Dehn was born in Waterville, Minnesota on 22 November 1895. He taught at the Colorado Springs Fines Arts Center and was an accomplished American lithographer and watercolor artist, with numerous works displayed in art galleries and museums across the globe. These galleries include: the Whitney Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Minneapolis Institute. His works are also featured in the Encyclopedia Britannica and he held a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Dehn’s work was mainly either satire or landscapes. He authored numerous books, received numerous honors and awards . . . a tribute to his legacy including Water Color Painting. His artwork and contribution to the art world. The lithograph Caribbean Processional was printed in 1954, and gave a glimpse into a wider world and different culture outside of the United States. Dehn died from a heart attack in New York City, New York on 19 May 1968.

Sources Consulted

Adolf Dehn, https://americanart.si.edu/artist/adolf-dehn-1178

Adolf Dehn, https://whitney.org/collection/works/20000

Ruth Cyril (American, 1920-1985)

Moonlit Pond, 1973

Etching (color), 9 x 11.75 inches

Label for Adults – This color etching reveals the numerous complexities of blending whites, blues, grays, and blacks to beautifully render a scene of a pond in the dead of night under moonlight and a clear sky. Diverse species of flora can be viewed due to the contrast of light and darkness. A sense of feeling hidden is evoked through the closeness of the flora and the scarcity of the view through the water.

Label for Kids – This etching shows how the moonlight reflects off of the pond water and plants inside of it. Look at the how dark and how light many parts of the picture are.

Catalogue entry  Ruth Cyril was born in New York, New York on 1920. At age 10, she began to study painting at Greenwich House School of Art. She also studied design along with painting in New York. In 1957, Cyril received a Fulbright Scholarship in Graphic Art, which took her to the Sorbonne in Paris, France for further study. She became an internationally known printmaker, designer, painter, and craftsperson.

Cyril’s work has been displayed in New York, Berlin, Paris, Rome, and London. Her work is in the collections of the New York Public Library, Harvard Art Museums, the Print Club of Philadelphia, Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, and the Dallas Museum of Fine Art.

Moonlit Pond was published in 1973 and is one of her limited edition works. Her birth dates and death dates, depending upon certain sources, are extremely conflicting, but it is believed that she died at age 101 in 1985.

Sources Consulted

Ruth Cyril, https://art.state.gov/personnel/ruth_cyril/

Ruth Cyril, https://www.nga.gov/collection/artist-info.3849.html

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